Monday, February 24, 2014

How to load a JRE-dependent/non-compile-mode-supported class in GWT Dev Mode

For a particular GWT module, I'm able to solve a problem in compiled mode by manipulating the JS object representing the Java object.  (Specifically, I need to clone the object, so I simply create a new JS object, copy the properties from the original JS object, and assign a new hash value.)  I've tested this an it works OK.

Since that approach (that I use in compiled mode) doesn't work in Dev Mode, I want to use Object.clone(), which is available in Dev Mode, to perform the clone operation. However, I'm not sure how to accomplish this as every approach I try hits a problem.
  • I can't seem to use deferred binding (i.e. GWT.create() and "replace with" in the module gwt.xml file), for two reasons:
    1. Even in Dev Mode, when I replace a class using "replace with", the class I swap in seems not to be able to use JRE-only methods, such as reflection or Object.clone.  I get an error that the "source code for the method is not available".  I don't want this class compiled, but it seems to want to compile it to JS.
    2. If I solve #1, then I have to figure out how to get the "replace with" to be conditional based on being in dev mode.  I'm using ant to build the compiled-mode stuff and I'm using Eclipse to run dev mode.  Is there way to make this automatic so I can use the same module gwt.xml in Eclipse and for an ant build?  I guess I'd need an ant property that automatically is set by compiled but not by development mode, or vice versa?
  • I also tried simply using new Foo() (rather than GWT.create() and deferred binding), placing the JS-copying/GWT-compile-friendly version of Foo in the normal location.  This works for GWT compiled mode obviously.  Then for Dev Mode, I add a new source directory to the class path in Eclipse and stick a different class Foo there that uses the JRE-only APIs (such as Object.clone).  However, this hits the same problem as deferred binding - I still get an error that "the source code is not available" for various APIs I use in that version of Foo (e.g. reflection APIs).

Right now, I've managed to use the Eclipse expression panel to manually load the JRE-version of Foo I mentioned above (in the special class path segment).  So I know it's possible for it to coexist with other Dev Mode classes, but how do I load it programmatically as part of starting GWT DevMode class?

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